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  • posted a message on Wolrd's Smallest MTG
    Personally, I think this is real. I looked up the Super Impulse brand and they seem to specialize in making teensy versions of other toys. Tiny Pac-Man arcade cabinet... tiny etch-a-sketch... tiny crayola crayons... something like this wouldn’t be out of place.


    If it really is a fake, props to the prankster for finding the one company that would realistically do this.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [C20] Commander deck names
    Given that Tarkir was changed from a wedge plane to a plane of allied guilds, getting a new wedge plane isn’t out of the picture...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Wolrd's Smallest MTG
    MTG: Segovian Edition


    Am also hoping that this is a joke. If we were ever to have a set in Segovia, though, this would be a neat novelty product.


    Edit: also, can we take a moment to appreciate Outland Colossus in the second picture? Not only because it’s a teensy tiny giant but because the counters you get for reaching renown would take up more space than the card itself...


    Edit: just read through the full article. The two pictures above WERE an April fools day joke from several years ago. Wizards apparently DID created teensy tiny Jace vs. Vraska decks. No words on whether they’d be mass-marketed.


    Edit Edit: in retrospect, the fact that Origins cards have the wrong set symbol should’ve been an obvious tip-off.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Colorless mana
    It depends on where you see the 1 symbol.

    If you see the 1 symbol on an old card as a mana ability (AKA: Add 2 mana to your mana pool for Kozilek’s channeler), that has been errata’d to the new colorless symbol (AKA: Kozilek’s channeler would now read: Tap: Add 2 Colorless Mana )

    If you see the 1 symbol in a cost, however, the two are not the same. Colorless Mana in a cost cannot be paid with colored mana while 1 mana in a cost can be. If they were the same, cards like warping wail that have both symbols in the cost would make no sense.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Best draw mech for white/red casual?
    Hmm...

    Several options here. As far as making sure that you are hitting your land drops, I’m a fan of Tithe\Weathered Wayfarer. As you are playing multiplayer, Surveyor’s Scope may also work.

    As far as actual mana ramp, treasure is likely the option. Curse of Opulence[, Smothering Tithe, and Dockside extortionist can all be great in multiplayer.

    As far as card draw is concerned, that’s a bit more difficult. outpost siege is good but cheap and effective card draw in these colors is rough.

    As far as keeping up with everyone else, the normal boros strategy is to generate card disadvantage for everyone else instead of gaining advantage for yourself... or, in other words, wrathing. Blasphemous Act is a classic example and casting Sublime Exhalation for a mere 3 mana in a 5 player game is nuts. While a bit more color-intensive, Play of the Game and Hour of Revelation can both nail the board of all nonland permanents and both give you pretty steep discounts in certain multi-player situations.

    Other cards might include:
    1. Terrain Generator to help you play lands you find through land tax-ish effects
    2. Myriad Landscape
    3. Burnished Hart/Solemn Simulacrum search for lands.
    4. Good old skullclamp is great for card draw... but that requires a lot of weaker low-drops.
    5. Legion’s Lansing can technically turn into an extra land... but that also wants you to have an army of small fries... and to overextend them on an attack.
    6. Thamatic Conpass can find a land each turn and eventually becomes a land.
    7. Treasure map can smooth out draws before giving a boost of mana/card draw.
    8. Dowsing Daggers can be pretty cool in multiplayer (give one player plants and hit another for a huge mana boost) but that comes with certain deck building limitations (wanting cheap and preferably evasive creatures to carry the dagger)
    9.Dawn of Hope is a lifegain-triggered card draw engine.

    I hope some of this helps?
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Introducing Jumpstart
    I'm always a little bit mystified when I hear people complain about what cards won't be reprinted in an upcoming set.

    Not because they're wrong, mind you. It's true that most of what players want reprinted probably won't be reprinted.

    Rather, I want to know what people expect from this product:
    1. Limiting packs to one or two colors means that we won't see Atraxa, Riku, Progenitus, or similar cards.
    2. Having packs based on themes makes it HIGHLY unlikely that we'd get full cycles of cards (so no 5 swords of X and Y, for example).
    3. The focus on themes will probably make more generalized rares very unlikely. Probably no vampiric tutors/imperial seals or fetchlands and very few rare lands of any type (We'd be looking at rare lands like Flamekin Village or Westvale Abbey, I'd expect).
    4. It's highly unlikely that this set will reprint too many cards in the Mystery Booster as it's coming out just a couple months later. That tanks the odds of seeing (as examples): Selvala, Purphoros, Athreos, Elesh Norn, Rhys, Sakashima, Mana Crypt, Mother of Runes, Weathered Wayfarer, All is Dust, Ancient Ziggurat, Arbor Elf, Ash Barrens, Ashnod's Altar, Aura Shards, Baleful Strix, Bloodbraid Elf, Shardless Agent, Caged Sun, Caustic Caterpillar, Chaos Warp, Darksteel Mutation, Cure of Opulence, Crop Rotation, Crystal Shard, Courser of Kruphix, Defense of the Heart, Fatal Push, Gift of Estates, Gravecrawler, Helm of Awakening, Manamorphose, Mishra's Bauble, Nature's Lore, Nature's Claim, Path to Exile, Phyrexian Reclamation, Priest of Titania, Lotus Petal, Carpet of Flowers, Phyrexian Metamorph, Recruiter of the Guard, Rhystic Study, Soothsaying, Swords to Plowshares, Counterspell, memory lapse, mana leak, arcane denial, Dark Ritual, Lightning Bolt, Brainstorm, Preordain, Arch of Orazca, Teferi's Protection, Demonic tutor, Sol Ring, Phyrexian Arena, Farseek, Sakura Tribe Elder, inquisition of kozilek, hymn to tourach, aura of silence, Solemn Simulacrum, Soul Warden...

    Keeping in mind all of these restrictions... what could wizards possibly print to make this a worthwhile reprint set for you? Can you list a few non-rares that would work here (oubliette... three visits... merchant scroll... that's as far as I can get)? Can you list enough rares that wouldn't be mythic to make this set worthwhile (other than the "one money card")?

    I'm not saying that people aren't right to complain. I'm saying that "Wizards is going to cheap out on this set" and "Giving this set a critical density of cards I still need would be a logistical nightmare" are totally different complaints. Even if the first is probably going to be true to some extent(I don't imagine average price value being much higher to validate increased price), I get the impression that some people are really complaining about the second point.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Introducing Jumpstart
    While a lot of people call out “wallet fatigue”, I don’t see too many people writing up all of the stuff we have coming. For the record, 2020 has...

    Theros
    Mystery Booster- Retail edition
    Ikiora
    Jumpstart
    Core 2021
    Zendikar Rising
    Commander Legends

    That’s 7 sets this year... in addition to Unsanctioned + Challenger decks + the green commander collection + Ikiora commander decks + two more rounds of “Secondary commander decks” (for zendikar and commander legends) + 6 secret lairs SO FAR

    So... yeah. Busy year. That’s more than 1 set/2 months and that list of supplemental products doesn’t include any Inevitable holiday gift boxes, collector boxes, Collector packs (which may be worth listing as a separate product now if they are going to have unique cards like they did in Theros), etc.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Introducing Jumpstart
    All right, just went to blogatog and a few needed questions have been answered:

    Is this set's combine-and-play in any way related to the similar nature of Unsanctioned?
    Quote from Mark Rosewater »
    shm128iii asked: Both Unsanctioned and JumpStart have a similar "mash two different sets of cards together" mechanic going on. Was there any overlap in their development at all? Did one inspire the other?

    They were designed independently as far as I know.
    .

    Is this the innovation product for this year?
    Quote from Mark Rosewater »
    gsjbuffalo asked: Does Jump Start count as an innovation product for this year? If so, are we getting officially two (3 if you count Unsanctioned) innovation products?

    Commander Legends is the official “innovative product” for 2020, but Jumpstart can be thought of as an unofficial one.

    Is there really only one land per pack?
    Quote from Mark Rosewater »
    towel-guy asked: I'm confused about the basic lands of jumpstart, are there one or several in a pack? if more than one do all of them have the same art?

    There are numerous basic lands but only one per pack of the new art.

    Does Jumpstart = Mystery Booster?
    Quote from Mark Rosewater »
    haaaaaaaaave-you-met-ted asked: Is Jumpstart the official name for the Mystery boosters?

    No, different product.

    Will this set have a higher price?
    Quote from Mark Rosewater »
    drewblive380 asked: I know you can't be super specific, but you've mentioned already phyrexian as a hypothetical, will this set be higher priced per booster, like other reprint heavy premium sets? Or will it considering the '8 - 9 lands per pack' be priced similarly to other draft boosters? Also how limited of a run is this? And will it contain an ad card?

    On the stream today, they said that Jumpstart will be “a little more than draft boosters”. Remember that each booster has 20 cards, a 1/3 chance of getting more than one rare, and a basic land with brand new art.

    THE BIG ONE What does it mean when it says that the different packs will be labeled?
    Quote from Mark Rosewater »
    ursadub asked: "Each booster contains 20 cards centered on a theme. What theme each booster contains is randomized, but each themed 20 cards will be sealed inside the pack and labled." Can you clarify what that means? Can you tell the theme before opening the pack, but the theme packs in a box are randomized?

    You will have a booster pack. You open it and Inside is twenty cards inside a plastic wrapped brick. You can see a front card which has a picture and tells you the name of the theme and what color(s) it is.

    For example, it might show a goblin, say “Goblins”, and tell you it’s a red deck. That means it will contain red cards, mountains and maybe some generic artifacts that a red deck could play.

    You then pick a second booster pack and open it. Its card might say “Phyrexian” and be black. You then can put them together to make a black/red Phyrexisn Goblin deck.

    The Summary: This is neither the Mystery Booster nor the Innovation Product for the year. Even though it works similar, it was developed separately from Unsanctioned (as far as Maro knows). This will cost slightly more than a normal pack. Will have one unique land and a number of additional land (I'd personally expect 8 or 9 lands per pack depending on how expensive the cards in theme are). Purposefully mixing and matching packs as the article describes is Possible because each pack contains a second level of plastic packaging, listing both the theme and the color. As such, someone wanting to make a Cat Pirate deck could theoretically crack packs until they find those packs, slap them together, and leave the rest in their secondary packaging. Also, this opens up the possibility of players selling specific "sealed" packs online.

    Questions I still have:
    1. While I doubt it, is the "plastic brick" inside these backs re-sealable? If they are, buying sealed backs online is iffy.
    2. Are there 121 specific themes or are there fewer themes that provide exactly 121 possible pack layouts?
    3. Do all "non-mythic" packs have a chance of 2 rares or is that one third of the themes give you two rares?

    Other Observation: Maro also mentioned that this will have a lot of cards in common with Core 2021. Between the high number of core cards, the easy access to basic lands, and the lack of deck-building difficulty, I would imagine that this product (and its prerelease) would be great for new players.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [C20] Commander deck names
    Honestly, I'm not sure if we'll get a keyword-based mechanic in the same sense as last year's commander decks. I think that keywords can be a solid secondary theme (like equipment in Arahbo) but it has been said that not too many cards from the main Ikiora set will be in these and even with 70+ new cards between these decks, it would be hard to turn Ability Word Counters (for example) into a compelling deck... instead of, say, a subtheme to a voltron deck. We'll probably get a commander to deal with these abilities, true, but I don't think it will be too focused on the abilities.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Introducing Jumpstart
    Hmm... if someone reveals that this is taking the place of the normal Conspiracy/Battlebond-ish “experimental” set, I’m down to try this. I don’t even care if they shove in TNN-esque rares.


    Instead of 24 packs fueling one pod, it could easily fuel two close friends 6 mystery matches. As far as immediate play value goes, that seems pretty outstanding. Like, I’m tempted to buy a box... which is something I never do.


    500-ish cards might also be a nice “sweet spot” for the size of pseudo-randomized sets, large enough for wizards to risk using decent common/uncommon reprints but small enough that new copies of those reprints can affect prices... unless the good reprints are only in the “mythic rare” packs.


    ...On second thought, the idea of entirely non-random “mythic packs” scares me entirely. While I don’t think that it could do much harm in a draft set like this (you can’t shove too much power into a pack that will comprise half of a player’s library without busting this new “format”), it’s easier to cram value into an entire pack of cards than it is with single cards (like masterpieces). The thought that wizards might consolidate value from a future set into an even more extreme slot machine using the promise of “perfect packs” is worrying... though that’s just idle speculation on my part.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 2/14 Secret Lairs: Theros Stargazing
    In b4 Tiro drowns the world with a biblical flood of drool.


    personally, this is something that I would’ve loved a couple years back... but no longer need. Hooray for my wallet.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 5 New Secret Lairs to be announced on Feb 14
    Personally, I might buy if they release a special art for defense of the heart on Valentine’s Day... or if they’re daring enough to do an Earthbind reprint with (slightly) tamer art.


    while I don’t like how this was done, after all, I still have my own tastes.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 5 New Secret Lairs to be announced on Feb 14
    Quote from buffntuff »
    So what is to be done? Just kill the whole game? Or maybe we could just kill the profit motive that spurs these inventions. Re-establish the game as a co-operative enterprise whose first responsibility is to the people who play it, rather than the people who own it.


    What is to be done?

    In this case, either spread out the drops over a greater period (likely making a similar amount of money in the long run) or spoil the contents in advance (making the product seem less predatory). In the long run, maybe hire a single psychologist as a part-time consultant to aid with maintaining a customer engagement while avoiding these problems.

    If a company is incapable of turning a profit while maintaining basic ethical standards to avoid the blatant exploitation of compulsive behaviors... then yeah, cancel it.

    In most cases, though, there are ways to make profit without such exploitation. I do not question that MTG’s ultimate responsibility is to make its owners money but that does not mean that all means of doing so are equally acceptable.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 5 New Secret Lairs to be announced on Feb 14
    Quote from RSSR »
    People are having near-conniptions over something they can 100% ignore. This is starting to approach comedic levels.


    I'm not angry about these products because of myself. From where I'm standing, Secret lairs can't really be bad for me. Either they're good and they're a positive or they're bad and I ignore them. For most players, that is the start and end of the equation. With that said, there's a predatory element to this release that I don't like as a matter of principle.

    To show what I mean, let's first indicate why this event is different from, say, a "one-day-only-sale" at a clothing store:
    1. A one-day-sale at most stores put sales prices on items you could purchase at any point. While all secret lairs hold reprints, these items are being marketed in part as unique items, sold for only one day.
    2. This isn't an old fashioned sale that requires some sort of effort to learn about and take advantage of. If you watch the championship or hang out on any MTG websites this weekend, you will learn what's in the drop and have what you need to purchase it. Gone are the days of needing to read the newspaper and drive to the mall.
    3. VERY few stores would have 10+ unique "one-day-sales" that pressure customers to keep coming in again and again over in the space of 90 days.

    So yeah, people compare this to freemium trickery for a reason. Even if it doesn't hurt you or me, the practice of not showing what cards are being sold in advance is likely an attempt to get impulse buys from players with poor impulse control... which makes me kind of sad.

    In fact, let me go on the record as saying that this stuff is WORSE than most freemium tricks I've seen in some ways:
    1. Getting a single copy might feel incomplete: When I buy a character or set of gear in a Free-to-play app, I don't typically feel the urge to by it again 3 more times (if doing so is even an option). For some players and cards, though (Rat colony and snow covered lands, to list examples that have already been used) getting multiple copies is a very real temptation.
    2. The item enters a real economy: In most games, I don't have the ability to sell a special skin, XP-booster, or new character once I've made a microtransaction. For cards, however, we are going to see impulsive buys not only by players who want to use the cards but by collectors who are making snap decisions with the idea that they'll be able to flip it for profit... which may or may not work out.
    3. Multiple offers don't obviate each other: If an app offers me multiple chances to buy premium currency (diamonds, tokens, free summon tickets, etc), I won't feel tempted to take every sale that comes up. In many cases, buying top-tier gear or characters for your playstyle would likewise make future sales of similar products a bit less tempting. No matter how many copies of one lair you buy, however, the temptation to buy the next isn't intrinsically diminished.

    To be clear:
    • If these things didn't cost $30-40 a pop, I wouldn't be angry.
    • If they came out less frequently to ease wallet fatigue, I wouldn't be angry.
    • If Wizards released what was in them ahead of time so players wouldn't be forced into snap-decisions, I wouldn't be angry.

    When you mix all three of those together, though, it's kind of a mess.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 5 New Secret Lairs to be announced on Feb 14
    I'm happy for Secret Lairs.

    The ones I want/need and can afford are great for me and the others I can ignore.

    This new practice of revealing what's in these lairs right as they become available, however, is Predatory with a capital "P". From where I'm standing, it's seeking to trick people into impulse purchases that they wouldn't otherwise take if they had time to weigh the pros and cons and talk about things online. While I respect that WotC needs to show growth, doing so at the cost of their consumers... by using the type of tactics I'd expect from a freemium game... kind of gets me mad.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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